ASA to honour Zola Budd with national 5km series
Athletics South Africa (ASA) have revealed that they will celebrate one of the country's greatest running queens Zola Budd with the introduction of a 5km series in her honour next year. These races will be named after Budd and will carry handsome incentives similar to the Absa RUNYOURCITY series.
Budd, who set broke the 5 000m world record back in 1985 when she ran 14:48.07, now works with Olympic silver medalist Elana Meyer at her running academy Endurocard, where the pair are grooming the next generation of top runners. Speaking in an exclusive interview with #TheTopRunner, ASA President James Moloi confirmed the news saying they wish to honour Budd while she is still alive.
"I think you are the first journalist to know this. Next year, we are introducing a 5k series across the country and will name it after Zola Budd," said Moloi during the interview while he was attending the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town. "We are close to finalizing everything with the title sponsor. We have introduced the Absa series which carries big incentives if our athletes can run faster. We want to bring competition while rewarding the athlete's performances. There are a couple of athletes in our country that have the potential to go faster," he explained.
Moloi will remain in The Mother City this week for ASA Track & Field Championships which get underway from Thursday till Saturday at the Green Point Stadium. The former Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) boss said they are hoping to see more athletes nail the qualifying standards and book their tickets to the World Championships in Oregon in July.
"I'm positive that more athletes will hit the qualifying times to either the World Championship or Commonwealth games. We plan to send a strong team to World Champs - our target is 58-60 athletes. And we will be hoping for medals too. Already, we have prepared our athletes to camp in the US before the champs in order to acclimatise to the conditions," said Moloi.